Today's News: Our Take


RANDY, RANDY, RANDY...

American Idol judge Randy Jackson is following in Simon Cowell's footsteps and penning his first book, titled What's Up Dawg: How to Become a Recording Star. Hyperion plans to release the book in January. Up next, You Were Perfect: The Art of Constructive Criticism by Paula Abdul. read more

Dinner for Five It's dinner. Really...

Dinner for Five
It's dinner. Really nice chow. Yet the guests (tonight's A-list diners include Katie Holmes and Sean Hayes) never talk about the food. That worries me.

Yes, Dear
Greg and Jimmy turn Speed Dating sessions into a competition to see who could, possibly, maybe, if they weren't both very married, get the most "yes" votes from single women. Married men using singles functions for ego-boosting sport. Riiiight. Now even lame CBS shows are making fun of the reality that is my life. Thanks.

Eve
Now we know what J. Lo's ex Cris Judd is doing — moonlighting as a salsa teacher on Eve.

Girlfriends
Brock offered to drop his highest profile client for Joan. (Oh... That's so sweet.) Ellis took only one night to get over Joan. Damn. That's ridiculously unbelievable. And terribly convenient. I mean, the woman just told him she's read more

STILL MAD ABOUT PAUL

Paul Reiser is headed back to NBC. The former Mad About You star has signed a two-year deal with the network to create, write and exec produce projects, Variety reports. read more

POLITICAL DRAMA

ABC is developing an hour-long drama series about the Kennedy dynasty. According to Variety, the show's first season would be set in 1959 and follow John F. Kennedy's controversial campaign for the presidency. read more

PARTING WAYS

Star Trek captain Patrick Stewart, 63, and wife Wendy Neuss Stewart, 45, have filed for a legal separation after three years of marriage. read more

Question: Another argument ...

Question: Another argument question for you. Did Andy Kaufman ever get thrown off the set of Taxi for bringing hookers in with him? A guy I work with swears that's a true story, but I say it was a story Kaufman made up. — Jay L., Atkinson, N.H.

Televisionary: Oh, boy. You're gonna draw me into saying definitively what was real and what was merely reported when it comes to the late Kaufman, prankster extraordinaire? I'm not even entirely comfortable with referring to him as "late," since so many people are convinced he faked his own death.

Kaufman, who co-starred as Taxi's foreign-born cabbie Latka Gravas, lived to mess with people's heads (audience and entertainer alike) and subvert the accepted model of performer and audience. So answering your question requires a little explaining.

Kaufman was more of a performance artist than a comedian, though many people tried to fit him into the comic-turned-sitcom-star mold. He created many cha read more

CLOTHES CALL

Trista Rehn has settled on a dress for her televised wedding to Ryan Sutter, airing Dec. 10 on ABC. According to Modern Bride, the Bachelorette star will wear a strapless Badgley Mischka gown with a full skirt. And for her impending divorce, she'll sport a navy blue pant suit from Target. read more

Question: For the past three ...

Question: For the past three Sundays I have been searching the USA Network for the show Dead Zone. Has it been cancelled? — Jeanne D., Bothell, Wash.

Televisionary: Not at all, but it is in reruns right now after ending its second season in January. The show's already been renewed for a third, which should start sometime in June. If you need a fix of repeats before then, however, check our lovable listings for late-night times during the week.

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DID SHE CRY?

Barbara Walters can add another big notch to her belt. The ABC News vet has landed an exclusive interview with embattled domestic guru Martha Stewart. The chat — Stewart's first since being indicted for insider trading — took place over the weekend. However, ratings-hungry ABC is holding the piece until November sweeps. During the sit-down, Stewart admitted the prospect of doing jail time frightened her. "Who wouldn't be scared? Of course I'm scared," she said. "The last place I would ever want to go is to prison. And I don't think I will be going to prison, though." In the meantime, can't we all just focus on her freakin' salad??? read more

Question: I recently saw Jane ...

Question: I recently saw Jane Seymour on an episode of Oprah discussing East of Eden. Apparently Miss Seymour played the part of Cathy/Cate in a TV mini-series based on John Steinbeck's novel. Can you tell me more about the mini-series? Who were the other actors, when was it shown and is it available to rent on video? — Karen V., Lowman, N.Y.

Televisionary: That was an ABC mini-series that aired over three nights in February, 1981, and starred Warren Oates as papa Adam Trask, Timothy Bottoms as son Adam and Bruce Boxleitner as Adam's wayward brother Charles. Seymour played manipulative hellion Cathy Ames, who married Adam and bore him twin sons, Cal (Sam Bottoms) and Aron (Hart Bochner), before heading off to work in a brothel.

Fans of the 1955 Elia Kazan feature will recall that Cal was played by James Dean, but that movie focused only on the last third of the story while this mini-seri read more

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